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Shrimant Shahajiraje III (Baba Saheb Bhosle), Rajasaheb, Akkalkot

Ruled: 1870-1896
Present -
Ascended the Gadi in 2018
After the death of Shrimant Maharaj Malojiraje II in 1870, his underage son Shrimant Shahajiraje III ascended the throne and became the youngest Maharaj of Akkalkot. Shrimant Maharaj Shahajiraje lll was born on December 15, 1867, and his coronation took place on August 20, 1870. Being of tender age, Shrimant Maharaj Shahajiraje managed the affairs of the Akkalkot state under British administration until 1891. He married Rajkumari Lakshmibai, the daughter of the Maharaj of Baroda, Shrimant Gaekwad.
Born: 15th December, 1867
Adoption and ascension to the Gadi

Shrimant Maharaj Shahajiraje III did a very admirable job. His contribution was not for the past or the future but for the gift of knowledge and education. He himself was knowledgeable, alert, and intelligent. The forthcoming era recognized him as a visionary. Understanding the importance of education, he aimed for the betterment of his state, emphasizing that everyone should learn and become knowledgeable. His thoughts were ‘If the state needs to progress, all must be educated, must gain knowledge’. Ensuring that no child remains deprived of education, he established primary schools. For schools, he constructed excellent, robust buildings with well-equipped facilities. All these schools were linked by a building known as the Central School. Even today, students receive education in the Central School. Exceptional teachers were appointed, marking the initiation of the sacred work of imparting knowledge.

Primary education was initiated. Competent teachers were appointed. Children began to learn. Further education was also made available to them. For higher secondary education, a majestic building was constructed in the central part of the Akkalkot, near the palace with stone walls, arches, and grand architecture. High school was also started. The current building is known as the pride of Akkalkot city. This school is named as ‘Shri Shahaji High School’. The construction work began in 1886 and was completed in 1888.

Shrimant Maharaj Shahajiraje III knew that learning does not cease with schooling. Alongside schooling, reading is also essential, and general knowledge is necessary. Knowledge is the third eye of a person. Recognizing this, Shrimant Maharaj Shahajiraje III established a library. He brought various books, to enrich the library. The Shahaji Maharaj Bhosle Library, dedicated to continuous progress, has flourished, providing a wealth of literature. Students and citizens have benefited from this library, achieving success in their lives. Even today, students and citizens continue to take advantage of this library.

Shrimant Maharaj Shahajiraje III, the benevolent ruler, passed away on December 31, 1896. His untimely death at the age of 29 was a tragic loss for the people of Akkalkot. Despite a short life, he accomplished deeds that made him immortal, with neither the past nor the future affecting his enduring legacy.

Due to his untimely death, the responsibility of the estate fell upon his wife, Shrimant Rajmata Lakshmibai. They had three daughters: Shri Gajararaje, Shri Putalaraje, and Shri Tararaje. They did not have a son. After the death of Shahajiraje, Rajmata decided to adopt a son. In 1898, Rajmata Lakshmibai adopted the eldest son of Shri Ganpatrao Raje Bhosle of Kurla family and named him Fatehsinh III.